Base price for the 2020 Ford Edge ST is $36,299 in Canada, $31,100 in the US.
The Edge is Ford’s midsize SUV offering.
The Edge ST is tuned by Ford Performance.
The Ford Edge is a popular option within the growing 2-row midsize SUV segment. The Edge ST is a different animal that combines performance with luxury SUV pricing in a way that makes it both entertaining and disappointing. It’s also almost invisible…
It was back in the late 1980s when I first learned the term Q-ship. I happen to be reading a review on the 1989 Ford Taurus SHO which, as you might know, was a fantastic automobile that flew completely under the radar. The SHO created something of a mild cult-following for its unique Yamaha engines, manual transmission (with the V6s), and impressive driving experience. The Edge ST is a Q-ship.
The Edge is in the middle
In my mind, the Ford Edge is a fair midsize SUV. With competition from the likes of the Hyundai Santa Fe, Honda Passport, and Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport, it holds its own as long as lower trims are selected. However, because there’s no such thing as Santa Fe N-Line (yet), a Passport Si, or a Cross Sport GTI, the Edge ST is in fact unique.
Priced from $49,399 in Canada, $43,265 in the US, the Edge ST is meant as an alternative to high-powered luxury SUVs like the BMW X3 M40i, Mercedes-AMG GLC 43 and Audi SQ5, but it’s not. In fact, with the sole exception of its straight-line power, it barely comes close to the basic 4-cylinder versions of the German SUVs. My tester, with options and accessories, retailed for just shy of $57,000.
Another disappointing Ford cabin
There are parallels to be drawn between the Edge and the recently-tested Ford Explorer. The first that comes to mind is the cabin. With the exception of plenty of storage space, the Edge’s interior is anything but special. The center-stack is plagued by a patch of below-average looking plastic below the 8-inch touchscreen. There’s a handful of round buttons at each extremity and a volume knob in the center – what’s with all the “white” space? The center console is similar in its lack of content. While I wouldn’t normally complain about such things, this is a $50,000+ Edge ST!
The seats are a highlight of sorts as they seriously grab on to the front occupant’s kidneys and never release them. The steering, with its “ST” badge at the bottom-centre, also has paddle shifters however they are tiny and very plastic. Generally speaking, ergonomics and functionality are good, and from another era, but forward ¾ visibility is horrible, one of the worst on vehicles currently for sale. On a general note, the cabin is spacious and the trunk, generous.
Aesthetically-speaking, there’s little to say about the 2020 Ford Edge ST. My test unit’s optional black 21-inch wheels are a little giveaway over and above the trapezoidal tailpipes, unique front fascia, integrated side-skirts, and badging. But if you don’t know this is an ST, it looks little more than a regular Edge that retails for $50,000.
Big on torque – This is what makes it an ST
And this the Q-ship part. Lined-up with a number of sports cars, the innocent-looking Edge ST and its 335-horsepower, and 380 lb.-ft. of torque twin-turbocharged 2.7-litre V6 will blow the doors off your linemates. All the torque drops in at 3,250 rpm and suddenly, your gut muscles are hard at work keeping you upright. This is undoubtedly the ST’s highlight. The attached 8-speed automatic transmission doles out shifts with little effort although, admittedly in “D” and not “S”, manual shifts via the paddles were occasionally slow-ish.
Speaking of “S”, this is in fact the only drive offered with the ST. This is an old-school move which I personally appreciate however, for this type of vehicle, well into 2020, this does not sit well. Once more, it’s a $50,000 SUV.
As always, the Ford Edge feels extremely heavy but driving dynamics are unaffected. The ST’s chassis is tuned by Ford Performance and as such, has been fitted a sporty suspension that includes rear trailing blade control arms. Along with torque vectoring, the ST is far more agile than expected. Steering is nicely adjusted and the brakes are powerful and responsive. The AWD system is tricked up for improved hard-driving capabilities but despite all of this, the driving experience isn’t especially amusing. That is unless you’re hard on the throttle.
The Edge ST is unique but priced too far out
Although I enjoyed the 2020 Ford Edge ST’s power, I could never see myself actually spend to money on one. A basic 2021 BMW X3 xDrive30i, at $52,550, won’t keep up with the ST in a straight line but everything else is better. At $66,250, a 2021 X3 M40i is $9,000 more than the ST but… I’ll let you fill in the blanks.
Closer to Edge’s world is the 2020 Jeep Grand Cherokee which can still be ordered with the 5.7-litre HEMI V8. At $62,190, the Trailhawk is nearly as quick, as well equipped and very capable off-road to boot. In the near future, Hyundai should introduce a Santa Fe N with nearly 300 horsepower. It won’t be as quick but it will probably undercut the base ST by $5,000 or so and include far more tech and features.
Finally, the Ford Edge’s future itself is uncertain beyond 2022. If anything, the ST will go down in the annals of automotive history as a rare powerful treat that will make a classic in a decade or so. Perhaps, if there are massive deals and incentives…